I don’t know if I can write this post without sounding preachy but I’ll try because no one wants to read a preachy post. I was listening to sports radio again today. The announcers were talking about the dominance of teams like the Yankees and the Red Sox and how the air time they get is not fair to the other good and better teams that don’t get as much. I think they were referring to the Texas Rangers not getting as much airtime but they are playing so well. One of the guys said we need the Yankees and the Red Sox because we need evil empires. (Yes the Red Sox were grouped in the evil empire with the Yankees!) They went on to say that we like to watch the rise but we also love to watch the fall. Then they went on to talk about another one of my teams – Notre Dame. The guys said people love to see Notre Dame in a big bowl game because as many people want to see them lose as want to see them win. I’m not sure why they didn’t use Michigan as the example instead…at least more people want to see them lose than win.
So I started to think about all of this as it applies to life outside of the sports arena. As a society we love to watch a new face rise to the top. But then we get bored with them…quickly. And the fall from the top becomes as much fun to watch. A couple of weeks ago, a reporter asked Paris Hilton if she was concerned that her celebrity moment was over. Paris was so annoyed or upset by the question that she walked off the set. I am sure if she had a fall from grace (didn’t she already have one? Some sex tape or something?) America would love to watch.
It’s even true in the political world. It was great to watch Palin come out of nowhere and it has been fantastic to watch her fall apart. I think it may also be true for Obama. It was fascinating to learn about his humble beginnings and to watch him become our President. But if it is possible to put politics aside when talking about Obama, I think some of the intrigue is gone.
Why do we like the fall as much as the rise? Does it make us feel better about ourselves? Or are we just so evil that we like to see things and people fall apart? I think the intrigue gets the best of us. For example, will my blog be more interesting if I fail on the way to my Journey to Forty goals? It would be pretty boring if I succeeded immediately? Or is it the honesty that comes out of failure that makes it interesting to watch? I think our purest moments tend to be when things aren’t going that well. Real honesty and heartfelt emotion seems to appear in the dark.